See also: Justice (homonymy)
It is advisable to distinguish the idea from justice on the one hand and the legal institution on the other hand. The word justice revêt thus several directions according to the context in which it is employed:
- justice within the meaning of the idea of justice :
- From a moral point of view, justice is sometimes defined like the fact of giving to each one what returns to him.
- From the Ancient point of view of wisdoms S, justice is also a provision or a character trait, i.e a Vertu (one of the four cardinal Virtues)
- justice within the meaning of the legal institution :
- the old History and texts abound in descriptions on the manner of returning the justice of our groins
EtymologyThe name justice is inherited the Latin justitia (even direction), derived from justus , “in conformity with the right”, itself of juice / juris , “(it) right”. The direction first of juice is monk: it is the “religious formula which through law”, which explains the relationship with a term like jurare , “to swear” (i.e. “to engage by means of a crowned formula”). Indeed, in the Antiquité the oath was crowned: one personally committed oneself undergoing sorrows inflicted by the gods in the event of failure.
The term seems Indo-European: one finds in Sanskrit yós , “hello! ”, which could be to him dependant. He answers in Avestique the radical yaoš- in the verb yaoš-dā- , “to purify” ( yaož-daδāiti , “it gives the yaoš ”). All these terms make it possible to pose a radical common *yew- (which would explain why one has in Latin jū-s , with /u/ length). They seem also all three related to the religion, but the detail remains vague. Another radical is often used to represent justice, that “to show”, “to indicate”, *diḱ- , that one has in the Greek δίκη díkê , “justice” or in Latin in judex (i.e. ju-DEK-S ), properly: “that which shows (right)”. This term gives in French the word “Juge”.
The justice , étymologiquement, is thus of a divine nature: the men must respect, mutatis-mutandis , the eternal laws enacted by the gods. Remainder, jurare also means “to pronounce a swearword” (this last name being him also derived from the same radical). The shift in meaning is explained if it is known that the ancient swearwords often approached diverted crowned formulas. For example, Hercle , “by Hercules! ”, or ecastor , “by Beaver! ” belong well to the familiar register, just as morbleu (“death of God”) or “palsambleu” (“by the blood of God”), which shows their origin blasphématoire clearly (one could also quote many Québécois swearwords of this type, who, contrary to the two French examples cities, remain very alive, like tabernac (it) or grates , i.e. “Christ”).
The Latin justitia , however, as well as the juice separated early from the religion, even if the first texts, those of the twelve tables, for example, dedicate the contraveners with the curse: patronus if clienti fraudem fecerit, sacer esto , “if a customer misleads his owner, that it is cursed” In conclusion, justice is there to make the good and not the evil.
Theory of justice
Justice as a virtueJustice is the virtue by which one returns to each one his due, it takes care of the respect of the rights of others. The legal institution has the capacity to say the right, to make it respect in the name of the law and of the truth. The judicial power is the whole of the courts and magistrates who judge the infringements. From a moral and philosophical point of view, justice is an ambiguous term, because it can indicate justice such that it exists in a company (legal institution), or justice as a character trait of an individual (the virtue). The difference between these two directions appears well if it is noticed that social justice can do without justice like virtuous provision without becoming unjust, whereas justice as a virtue is what it is as an internal provision.
This distinction reveals moreover a fundamental tension of political and moral philosophy: does social justice have to be based on the virtue of the citizens, and if not, that it does not involve necessarily conflicts between the man right and the same man as a citizen? For example, can a good citizen (i.e who respects the laws) be at the same time unjust (i.e from the point of view of the virtue)? And, conversely, is a man right necessarily a good citizen?
It is advisable to notice that the concept of justice as a virtue belongs primarily to ancient moral philosophy and that he is opposed to the liberal design modern justice.
To include/understand the range of these problems, it is necessary to start by determining the Concept of justice as a provision or individual virtue.
PlatoJustice is defined by Plato like a certain state of the heart:
- a heart right is guided by its knowledge of the Bien;
- this provision consists in being controlled according to the reason;
- consequently, a heart right controls its Passion S;
- finally, such a heart can be known as harmonious, beautiful, strong and in good health, because it keeps away from the unjust one, i.e disordered state of passions.
Thus, as a virtue, justice brings back the right action in an internal state of the individual, and not to external social norms or other standards such as the consequences of our acts.
AristoteMore than very other, Aristote is regarded as the philosopher of the virtue. But, contrary to Plato, it makes depend the virtue on a situation, and consequently, elements external with the action of the virtuous man.
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